How to Become Mentally Strong
What is mental health? Mental health includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being that affects how you think, feel, and act.
Greek Philosopher Plato said it best, “In order for man to SUCCEED in life, God provided him with two means, EDUCATION and PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. One for the soul and the other for the body. With these two means, man can attain PERFECTION.”
Exercise is the ultimate medicine especially as a defense against mood swings, Alzheimer’s, and ADHD. Exercise allows you to find your “eternal elixir of youth” to enjoy life happily and healthily with your kids, family, and friends. Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, who works 100 hours a week, is constantly under stress to produce electric cars and put people on Mars. If he can exercise 180 minutes a week, you can too.
Unfortunately, 1 in 10 adults in the United States struggles with depression - experiencing disrupted sleep, loss of appetite, forgetfulness, and suicidal thoughts as experienced by recent celebrity suicides by designer Kate Spade, foodie Anthony Bourdain, DJ Avicii, and actor Robin Williams.
Mental health issues may arise in all phases of your life: personally if you’re going thru a divorce, breakup, or a death in the family, professionally if you’ve been declined a promotion or suffered huge financial losses, academically if you performed below expectations or got bullied by your classmates, and athletically if you got cut from your team or lost an important game.
In 2018, the World Health Organization classified "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition, stating that problematic gaming behavior might cause problems in other areas of people's lives. There is a strong connection between video games and violence especially in the wake of shootings at schools and public places throughout the United States. Many gamers are suffering a problem called Hikikomori which is the complete social withdrawal from real life into a virtual life. Gamers miss out on the beauty of nature, loving relationships and satisfaction of contributing to a better world, all for a fake-exciting wasted life sitting on an armchair.
Barriers exist for mental illness treatment where an astonishing 60% of American adults and 50% of children ages 8–15, receive no treatment for their mental illness diagnoses. Treatments like mental health medications and psychotherapy are available but people face a stigma going thru therapy and afraid of medication side effects.
Fortunately as Plato mentioned, instead of pills, there is an all-natural treatment called exercise.
Depression manifests physically by causing low energy, appetite changes, and body aches, all of which can result in less motivation to exercise that makes for a tough escape from the couch.
A Duke University study found that those who exercised at a moderate level 40 minutes three to five times each week experienced the greatest antidepressant effect. Exercise not only increases blood flow to the brain, it releases endorphins - the body's very own natural antidepressant and releases other neurotransmitters like serotonin which lift mood.
Anyone who has raced, competed, fought, or lifted knows first-hand the immediate sense of endorphin-induced euphoria where you feel upbeat and clear-headed.
Other important exercise benefits include enhanced mood and energy, reduced stress, deeper relaxation, improved mental clarity, higher self-esteem, and increased spiritual connection.
In addition to exercise when you’re fighting against a negative mindset, seek the social support of family and friends instead of drugs, alcohol, and overeating to improve your mental health.
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Francis Huynh is Founder & CEO of JustHuynh - the social fitness company who's mission is to kill global obesity thru personal training and group fitness for the needed social accountability and motivation in being healthy. Personally experiencing obesity during childhood, college, and work -training with partners helped Francis become healthier and happier. With time as most valuable resource, Francis turned down corporate career opportunities post-MBA to dedicate his life to help 400 million+ people affected with diabetes worldwide reach their health goals. Francis completed his undergrad at Bowdoin and MBA at Vanderbilt. He is living with wife in Boston. The mini-Franchises are currently on-hold until JustHuynh is helping the world.